Best DJ Controller for Beginners; Review & Buyer’s Guide

Are you thinking about getting a DJ controller? Whether you are a professional or a beginner, a quality DJ controller is something you will always need to become a DJ.

As a professional, you can figure out what DJ controller works best for you. But as a beginner choosing one can be pretty daunting.

That's why I bring you the best DJ controller for beginners. These are suited for beginners due to the features each of them has. So, without wasting any time at all, let's get going with the DJ controllers.

Best in overall

Best in portability

Best in affordability

Pioneer DJ DDJ-400

Hercules DJ DJControl Starlight

Numark DJ2GO2 Touch


1. Pioneer DJ DDJ-400 – 2 deck Digital DJ Controller – Best in overall

Without any questions, this is one of the best performing DJ controllers you can get out there. Whether you are a beginner or a professional, this one is suitable for everyone. All the features of this controller make it the ultimate choice for any DJ.
Before any beginner starts worrying, let me tell you something. This DJ controller comes with some basic tutorials that will surely get you started with the thing. So, even if you are a complete beginner, you get access to the tutorials to learn all about this DJ controller.
The thing that makes it suitable for professionals is the features this packs in. You get all sorts of editing and mixing options on this controller. There are quite a lot of advanced effects that come in the controller and the software. Altogether, you won't lack anything that you need as a professional DJ at all.
Even with all these features and options, Pioneer somehow kept the layout simple. You don't face any trouble in understanding and figuring out the different options on this controller. It becomes quite easy to navigate after using the controller 2 or 3 times.

Pioneer DJ DDJ-400

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Specifications

  • Software: rekordbox DJ
  • Compatibility: Windows, macOS
  • Connections: 1/8-inch TS, RCA, Aux, Type B USB
  • Dimensions: 10.72 x 18.98 x 2.3 inches
  • Weight: 4.6lbs 

Pros

  • This DJ controller comes with professional-grade performance
  • It's quite lightweight and easy to carry
  • There are lots of advanced features for professional usage
  • It's very easy to navigate with the simple layout
  • You can use the included tutorials to learn the DJ controller 

Cons

  • The software included could be a bit better
  • It's a bit expensive for unprofessional usage 

2. Numark Party Mix II - DJ Controller

As a beginner, you will need a DJ controller that gives you easy-to-navigate controls. That way, you can learn the proper use of a DJ controller right from the get-go. This DJ controller fulfills that criterion flawlessly.

First of all, the controls are pretty straightforward. It doesn't come with a lot of complicated mixing and looping features. This makes the controller easy to learn.

While it's great for beginners, it also can stand out in the professional scene. There is a lighting feature that can help you set up the mode for the party right away.

The thing gets even better when you consider the size of this DJ controller. It's very lightweight and compact, so you can take this almost anywhere you want. This makes it an excellent tool for people starting as a DJ.

Specifications

  • Software: Serato DJ Lite
  • Compatibility: Serato DJ Pro, Virtual DJ, DJ player pro, Algoriddim djay Pro
  • Connections: Type B USB, Aux
  • Lighting effects: Yes
  • Dimensions: 7.83 x 12.82 x 2.04 inches
  • Weight: 2.1lbs

Pros

  • This DJ controller is straightforward to learn
  • There are no complicated parts that make it easy to use
  • It's pretty lightweight and compact for good portability
  • The quality is good enough for professional usage
  • The software compatibility is excellent for this one 

Cons

  • The controller may feel a bit expensive
  • Not the best for advanced DJ functions 

3. Numark Mixtrack Pro FX

Don't want to spend money on just a beginner DJ controller? Maybe you are looking for something that you can use later on. In that case, this is the best option you can go for. While it's suitable for beginners with easy controls, it also comes with a few advanced features.

A great thing about this DJ controller is its robust construction. You don't need to worry about the durability or build quality factor when you are out at a party. You can rely on the heavy-duty build of the controller without any doubt.

It also comes with a lot of effects that you can use to make unique music. That's the whole essence of a professional quality DJ controller. You can use this for reverbs, echoes, Flanger, Phaser, and some hi-pass, lo-pass filters as well.

Mixing and looping on this controller is very simple, which makes the whole thing suitable for beginners. It has got a clean layout that you can navigate without any confusion at all.

Specifications

  • Software: Serato DJ Lite
  • Compatibility: Serato DJ pro
  • Effects: Reverb, Phaser, Flanger, Low pass/ High pass filters
  • Connections: ¼ inch TS, RCA, Aux, Type B USB
  • Dimensions: 7.83 x 12.82 x 2.04 inches
  • Weight: 5.3lbs

Pros

  • The DJ controller comes with some advanced effects options
  • It's pretty easy to navigate due to the clean layout
  • You can learn the essential functions without any trouble
  • The build quality of the DJ controller is impressive
  • There are quite a lot of connectivity options 

Cons

  • The controller is limited to only one software
  • This can be a bit expensive for beginners 

4. Numark DJ2GO2 Touch – Best in affordability

When DJing is just a hobby, and you want to enjoy some music with a bit of spice, this is a great pick. It's not by any means a professional quality controller. But it's one of the best when it comes to the basic beginner-friendly and simple DJ controllers.

This DJ controller is excellent in terms of portability. It's very compact and lightweight. You can carry this one in one hand and even pack this in your backpack. There are no limitations to where you can take the controller with you.

Numark DJ2GO2 Touch

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It doesn't have any advance or complicated features. So, you end up with the essential DJ functions, which makes it super simple to use the DJ controller. If there are no confusing parts, there will be no room for confusion either, right?

Something that makes the whole package complete is the price of this controller. You don't usually get to see DJ controllers at this price range. With this kind of quality and features, you surely get value for money on this one.

Specifications

  • Software: Serato DJ Lite
  • Compatibility: Serato DJ Pro, Virtual DJ, SoundSwitch Premium, dJay for iOS
  • Connections: 1/8-inch TS, RCA, Aux, Type B USB
  • Dimensions: 12.4 x 3.4 x 0.63 inches
  • Weight: 12.3ounces 

Pros

  • This is a surprisingly affordable DJ controller with quality
  • It has good compatibility for different software
  • There are quite a lot of connectivity options
  • It's super easy with no complicated features whatsoever
  • The controller is very much lightweight and compact 

Cons

  • This isn't suitable for any professional use
  • The durability may be a little bit concerning 

5. Hercules DJControl Inpulse 500: 2 deck USB DJ controller for Serato DJ and DJUCED

I wouldn't say this is the most beginner-friendly choice on this list. But if you want to go beyond the beginner stage and perform professionally, this is a great pick. This will give you all the opportunities to learn and use the DJ controller in your professional career.

First, you get every single feature you would need to make it as a professional DJ. This has got everything you need for mixing those songs and wooing your audience. The precision you get coming from the Jog wheels, mixing and equalizing, is utterly impressive.

Now the reason I bring this in a beginners list is the availability of tutorials. You get access to a lot of tutorials for using this DJ controller. It also comes with a pretty easy-to-understand layout which makes your learning process much more manageable.

Another strong suit of this DJ controller is the sturdy quality. Even on the most hectic performance, you don't need to worry about breaking this one. You can rely on the durability of the controller without questioning it at all.

Specifications

  • Software: Serato DJ lite, DJUICED
  • Compatibility: Serato DJ pro
  • Connections: 6.3mm, 3.5mm, RCA, USB
  • Dimensions: 5.12 x 20.26 x 10.54 inches
  • Weight: 11.2lbs 

Pros

  • It comes with all the professional quality mixing options
  • You get excellent durability from the DJ controller
  • The layout of the controller is pretty easy to understand
  • There are countless tutorials for learning this one
  • There are several assistive features to help you while performing 

Cons

  • It lacks the balanced output option
  • It's pretty expensive just for beginner purposes 

6. Hercules DJ DJControl Starlight – Best in portability

When it comes to the portability of a DJ controller, this is the star to shine the brightest. It's very much compact and lightweight. You can carry this in your backpack and take it almost anywhere you want.

It's super easy to use because there is nothing much to complicate things on this one. You get the essential mixing elements on the controller, and it's more than anything you need as a beginner. It's perfect for anyone who wants to learn the ropes of DJ controllers.

Something you will enjoy seeing on this is the RGB lighting on the pads and the base. It looks astounding when you turn off the lights. While it's not the brightest of lights, but

indeed, they are aesthetically pleasing.

Now for the best part, it's quite affordable. You don't get to see quality DJ controllers within such a low budget. So, if you are on a budget, this can be a choice worth looking at.

 Hercules DJ DJControl Starlight

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Specifications

  • Software: Serato DJ Lite
  • Compatibility: Serato DJ pro, traktor
  • Connections: 3.5mm, USB
  • Dimensions: 13.4 x 3.9 x 1.93 inches
  • Weight: 1.1lbs 

Pros

  • This DJ controller is very much portable
  • It's very easy to use, even for beginners
  • This one comes at an affordable price
  • The lighting on the controller looks gorgeous
  • This comes with great basic mixing functions 

Cons

  • It doesn't have any advanced features
  • The main output buzzes when there is no sound 

7. Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S2 Mk3 DJ Controller

In terms of features and possibilities, this is without any question a professional DJ controller. You can do everything you would want to do with your DJ controller as a DJ using this. The only reason I get this one on this list is that it's easy to learn.

This one has got a layout that's standard for any club DJ controller. Getting on with this kind of layout is excellent for beginners. This way, they can prepare themselves for the professional DJ environment and setup.

A great thing about this DJ controller is that you can use this as an intermediate DJ as well. It has got all the components and features to go professional. So, you don't need to get a new DJ controller anytime soon.

While it gives you all the features, it's also quite lightweight. Now, that's something you can't stop admiring about this one. Usually, you don't get to see a full-fledged DJ controller with such lightweight. This makes it perfect for professional DJs who have to move around a lot.

Specifications

  • Software: Traktor
  • Compatibility: Windows, macOS
  • Connections: 6.3mm, 3.5mm, USB, RCA,
  • Dimensions: 19.13 x 10.43 x 2.38 inches
  • Weight: 5.19lbs

Pros

  • This has every single feature of a professional DJ controller
  • It's quite lightweight, so you can carry it wherever you go
  • The durability factor on the controller is impressive as well
  • You can quickly learn to use this DJ controller
  • You won't need another DJ controller after the beginner stage 

Cons

  • This is a bit expensive for only beginner purposes
  • The sound quality isn't as good as you would expect 

8. Roland Two-channel, Four-deck Serato DJ Controller

Here's another professional quality DJ controller at a reasonable price. This is a great entry-level controller considering the easy-to-learn factor. You don't face many difficulties learning the software. At the same time, it gets you acquainted with the professional DJ controller setups as well.

As a beginner, you will love the controller based on its sound quality and functions. I will be sincere; there are lots of things going on in the layout of the DJ controller. But once you figure them out, it's pretty straightforward to navigate and use the controller.

Now, something that will attract a lot of people is the Roland Drum machine legacy. This controller can recreate those same classic sounds of the Roland Drum kit. This makes mixing and editing your music much more enjoyable on this DJ controller.

While it has got all that, it's quite lightweight and compact as well. It doesn't have too much height, so you can fit this in your backpack if that's large enough. As for the weight, you don't even need to worry about that at all.

Specifications

  • Software: Serato DJ Lite
  • Compatibility: Serato DJ pro
  • Connections: 3.5mm, USB, RCA,
  • Dimensions: 18.8 x 11.7 x 2.4 inches
  • Weight: 4.6lbs

Pros

  • This one has aesthetics that are quite appealing
  • It comes with an easy learning process
  • The sound quality is pretty impressive on this
  • You get amazing Roland Drumkit access
  • It's very lightweight for good portability 

Cons

  • It can be difficult to set up for a beginner
  • You may face issues with the software 

Buying guide for best DJ controller for beginners 

When you go out there looking for a DJ controller, you will get stormed with choices. Buying one amongst all of them can be pretty challenging. You won't even know how to choose the one that suits your needs the best.

To find out the best options for your personal needs, you will need to consider several factors. Going through these factors will help you get the best DJ controller based on what you need.

As a beginner, you must go through these factors since you probably don't know what you should be getting. Let's check out the considerations you should make-

  • Controller Layout 

For beginners, the most important thing to consider is the layout of the controller. If it's too complicated, your learning process also becomes complicated right from the get-go. That's why you should be aiming for a controller with a simple layout that's easy to navigate through.

Having said that, if you plan to go ahead on the DJ route, then you should consider another thing. You need to make sure that you are choosing a layout that is similar to the professional usage. Otherwise, you will need to relearn the layout when you go professional.

So, the best thing to do is, choose something that has a standard layout and doesn't complicate the thing.

  • Connectivity options 

One connectivity you must have in your beginner DJ controller is the USB port. This allows you to connect the DJ controller with your laptop or computer. When you have access to that, it becomes much easier to learn and use the controller.

Along with that, you can expect a 3.5mm jack since it's the most common and available form of audio connection these days. At times you also get RCA connections for a better stereo facility.

  • Software 

Well, the software has a lot to play for the best DJ controller. As a beginner, you should try getting a controller that is compatible with most software. At least you should have access to software that is easy to learn.

Usually, you will come across Serato DJ, Virtual DJ, Traktor Pro software. One of these will come along with the package of your DJ controller. Typically, they are the best choices to go with anyways.

However, it's better if you can find a DJ controller that is compatible with different software. This way, you can work on your favorite software all the time.

  • Size and weight 

Now, this is not the most important of your concerns when it comes to a DJ controller. But it's something you should consider if you plan to move around with your DJ controller often. In that case, you will need to determine the size and the weight of the controller.

It's evident that when you move around, you would want to have a compact DJ controller with a lighter weight. In most cases, you may need to sacrifice those advanced features to get this thing.

Although there are several options out there that come with a full-fledged setup alongside a lighter weight, you can try getting one of those.

  • Price 

Even though this is an entirely personal preference, I think you can be a bit smart about this. For example, if you plan to go professional as a DJ in the future, then getting a professional quality controller will be the best option. There are lots of DJ controllers that are easy to learn yet pack up some professional features.

Typically, these will cost you more than the primary DJ controllers. However, they aren't worth it if you plan to use them as a hobby at home. In that scenario, you should save up on the money and stick to a pretty basic DJ controller without those advanced features.

Final words 

All in all, as a beginner, you should always be excited about getting a DJ controller. It's the beginning of an incredible journey for you. And for the good start, you will need the best DJ controller for beginners.

While all the choices I gave you are top-notch, some are ahead and shoulder above the rest. So, here are my top three suggestions based on different aspects.

To get the best performance in your DJ controller, even after the beginner stage, you should go for the Pioneer DJ DDJ-400. It gives you the overall best performance at a reasonable price, even for beginners.

But if you are on a tight budget and want an affordable option, Numark DJ2GO2 Touch is your best bet. And if you plan for portability, then there is nothing better than Hercules DJ DJControl Starlight.

Apart from these, you can go for any of the ones above based on your needs. As you can already tell, all of them come with quality. They only differ in some features here and there.


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